Understanding The Characteristics Of Asteroid Ulysses

  1. Introduction
  2. Discovery and Naming
    1. Discovery
    2. Naming
  3. Physical Characteristics
    1. Size and Shape
    2. Surface Composition
    3. Rotation and Spin
  4. Orbit and Classification
    1. Orbital Characteristics
    2. Classification
  5. Impact Potential and Importance of Study
    1. Potential Impact Hazards
    2. Scientific Significance
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Conclusion
  8. Additional Resources


Asteroids have captivated astronomers and space enthusiasts for centuries. These celestial objects are remnants from the early formation of our solar system and hold valuable information about its history. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of Asteroid Ulysses and delve into its fascinating features.

Discovery and Naming

Dash: A full-sized asteroid dominates the photo with its teeth-like composition


Asteroid Ulysses was discovered on September 27, 1997 by astronomers at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. It was initially classified as a Near-Earth Asteroid due to its close proximity to Earth's orbit.


The asteroid was named after the legendary Greek hero, Ulysses (also known as Odysseus). The name was chosen to honor his great intelligence, cunning, and resourcefulness, attributes that astronomers believed reflected the nature of this celestial body.

Physical Characteristics

A stunning closeup of Asteroid Ulysses, bathed in sunlight and illuminating its jagged, rocky surface

Size and Shape

Asteroid Ulysses measures approximately 5 kilometers in diameter, making it a relatively small asteroid. It has an irregular shape, resembling a potato or a chunk of rocky debris. This shape is typical for many asteroids, as their gravitational pull is not strong enough to shape them into spheres.

Surface Composition

Through spectroscopic analysis, scientists have determined that Asteroid Ulysses is primarily composed of rocky materials such as silicates and metal. These findings are consistent with other asteroids in the same spectral class.

Rotation and Spin

Asteroid Ulysses has a rotation period of approximately 11.2 hours, meaning it completes one full rotation on its axis in that time frame. Its spin is relatively slow compared to some other asteroids, which can have rotation periods as short as a few minutes.

Orbit and Classification

Dash: An extraordinary, highly detailed image of Asteroid Ulysses in orbit around the sun, featuring its unique shape, texture, and lighting

Orbital Characteristics

Asteroid Ulysses follows an elliptical orbit around the Sun, crossing the orbits of both Mars and Jupiter. Its average distance from the Sun is about 2.7 astronomical units (AU), with an eccentricity of 0.34. This means that its distance from the Sun varies significantly throughout its orbit.


Asteroid Ulysses is classified as a Main Belt Asteroid, which means it resides primarily in the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. However, it occasionally veers into the inner regions of the solar system, earning it the Near-Earth Asteroid designation.

Impact Potential and Importance of Study

A stunning photorealistic illustration of a large asteroid swirling in space, surrounded by a vibrant and dramatic nebula

Potential Impact Hazards

Asteroids, including Asteroid Ulysses, pose a potential impact threat to Earth. Although the probability of a collision with Ulysses is currently low, studying its characteristics can help astronomers and space agencies better understand the nature of these objects and assess potential impact hazards in our solar system.

Scientific Significance

Studying Asteroid Ulysses provides valuable insights into the composition and dynamics of asteroids in general. By analyzing its surface features, scientists can gain a deeper understanding of the early solar system and the processes that shaped it. This knowledge is crucial for further space exploration and the potential utilization of asteroid resources in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

This stunning photorealistic image captures the raw beauty of an asteroid, more akin to Asteroid Ulysses than a dream
  • Q: What is the size of Asteroid Ulysses?

    A: Asteroid Ulysses has a diameter of approximately 5 kilometers.

  • Q: How was Asteroid Ulysses named?

    A: The asteroid was named after the Greek hero Ulysses (Odysseus) due to its perceived characteristics of resourcefulness and intelligence.

  • Q: What is the orbital path of Asteroid Ulysses?

    A: Asteroid Ulysses follows an elliptical orbit that takes it between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, occasionally venturing into the inner regions of the solar system.

  • Q: Does Asteroid Ulysses pose a threat to Earth?

    A: While the current probability of a collision is low, Asteroid Ulysses, like other asteroids, does have the potential to impact Earth. Monitoring and studying its trajectory is essential for assessing potential hazards.

  • Q: What can we learn from studying Asteroid Ulysses?

    A: Studying Asteroid Ulysses helps us understand the composition, dynamics, and early history of asteroids. This knowledge is crucial for space exploration and future utilization of asteroid resources.


Asteroid Ulysses is a captivating celestial object that offers valuable insights into the formation and evolution of our solar system. Its characteristics, such as size, composition, and orbital path, provide astronomers with essential data for understanding asteroids and potential impact hazards. Studying Ulysses contributes to our overall knowledge of the universe and paves the way for future exploration and utilization of space resources. Share your thoughts on Asteroid Ulysses in the comments below and make sure to stay connected with www.asteroidrealm.com for more exciting discoveries and information.

Additional Resources

A close-up view of Asteroid Ulysses, captured from a spacecraft

For further information on asteroids and related topics, check out these additional resources:

If you want to discover more articles similar to Understanding The Characteristics Of Asteroid Ulysses, you can visit the Asteroid Profiles category.

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